The 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series have revealed the 42 gamers who have earned their place in the Pro Draft, where all ten official Formula 1 teams will select them to compete in this year’s competition.
The F1 Esports Series returns for a third season, with the competition more bigger than before with an expanded prize pool worth $500,000. The series will also welcome Scuderia Ferrari into the series, as all ten F1 teams will compete for the F1 Esports crown off Brendon Leigh and Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports.
The series has undergone a shake-up regarding the drivers and teams, as selected number of drivers who entered the series last year have been released – including runner-up and Leigh’s team-mate Daniel Bereznay.
The Pro Draft will once again commence to decide which driver will end up where with teams making their selections through three rounds, similar to what we see in American sports such as the NFL, NHL and NBA. However, this year’s edition will see a twist as the drivers in this year’s Draft Class will fight it out in Heat races prior to the Live show at the GFinity Arena in London on 17th July.
The drivers who come out on top will advance to the final pool of drivers that will be selected by the teams in the Draft. Drivers who raced in last year’s series and accepted the invitation to return to the Draft, will automatically be placed in the final pool.
42 Drivers will enter the Pro Draft this year in a bid to earn a seat with the ten F1 teams. Thirty of them have earned their place through the qualification events that took place on Codemasters Studios‘ F1 2018 game. Six have earned their pass to the Pro Draft through the DHL Fastest Lap challenge, where specially invited gamers and influencers attempted to set the fastest time. The remaining six entered through their participating in last year’s series.
Sven Zurner, Tom Parker, Allert Van Der Wal, Kimmy Larsson, Alexander Karl Hanses and Sonuc Saltunc were all signed in last year’s series, but were promptly released ahead of 2019. They have a chance to enter the series again through the Draft and sign with a new or previous team.
Several drivers who qualified to the Draft were there last year, but weren’t selected by a team. Isaac Price, who was picked up by Williams Esports after the series was over, qualified through PS4 and is considered to be an early first round pick. Floris Wijers was another who didn’t get selected and will hoping to enter the series full-time.
Italian YouTuber known as Sutil69FU, Amos Laurito has entered the F1 Esports Series in 2017 and 2018. Laurito missed out in qualifying to the final in 2017 and was left unpicked in the Pro Draft last year. He will be hoping it’ll be third time lucky that he will get his shot in the series.
The order of the Pro Draft is yet to be determined, although it is likely that Ferrari will earn the first pick overall being a new team entering the series and will run reverse order of the team’s standings from last year’s championship.